The protest was organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes, member Niki Adams told the Guardian: "Soho has always been one of the safest places in the country for women to work - it is transparent, well established and there has always been the support of the community...If this continues I fear more women will choose to work on their own or on the street which will put them in much more danger."
In the act of what many would call 'saving' these sex workers many people are actually turfed out on to the street, intimidated and left more vulnerable. As one woman describes in this Guardian video "I've been working in Soho for four years, in the first couple of years I didn't have any trouble. In the last year they [the police] keep raiding the flat...it scares us because each time they come they are accusing us more and more and say we're going to be deported, or the flat's going to close down or they're saying to us 'put your clothes on' and rip the signs off from the door and they chuck us out."
Scotland Yard stated that they were: "using a range of tactics to tackle historic crime problems, but also ensures sex workers who are vulnerable or need assistance receive it and can access support networks and services." Unfortunately that is not - in practise - how it works and the sex workers become increasingly less likely to report any abusive clients to the police.
the sex workers become increasingly less likely to report any abusive clients to the police.
Let's talk about sex work in relation to me (I know we all like it when I make a situation that has nothing to do with me all about me, it's like my schtick), would I ever do it? No, probably not. But I recognise that I choose not to do it. Like I choose not to be an accountant. I don't ever want my brain applied to maths. I don't have the greatest people skills, ergo I don't think I'd be good at or enjoy (as many sex workers do) sex work. Or reception work.
However, let's say I chose to be an accountant, or a receptionist, I expect to be safe and have my safety guarded by the authorities because as a law-abiding citizen (it is not illegal to sell sex in Britain) it is the least I deserve.
Members of the Soho Society are concerned that the raids are changing the strong character of Soho as well as endangering people. It seems many people are willing to speak to those who work in the walk up flats, just not the people in power.